Making A Difference with Splott Community Volunteers

Splott Community Volunteers have been tackling hunger and isolation in the South of Cardiff for six years. Their Thursday breakfast club in the Old Splott Library provides a hot meal, food for the week and an opportunity to socialise to anyone who needs it.

“We were finding that when people met and they were chatting, everybody understood that other people have problems too. You might be able to help someone with their problem, and then someone may be able to help you with yours. You build that community spirit.”

Angela Bullard, Founder of Splott Community Volunteers

Since the pandemic, the breakfast club has adapted to a takeaway service but the need for help is higher than ever. Splott Community Volunteers help 50-80 people each week and they can see they’re making an impact.

It makes a huge difference to a lot of people. It means that they they’ve got energy. Single mums with young children who come in a bit worn down, because they’ve been feeding the children rather than themselves, and now they can feed themselves. That kind of thing we see quite a lot.

Splott Community Volunteers receive food from FareShare Cymru each week as well as picking up food from local supermarkets. When people come to get a hot breakfast roll, they can also fill a bag with fruit and veg, bakery items, ready meals etc.

We couldn’t exist without the food [from FareShare Cymru]. We really couldn’t. The supermarkets aren’t always reliable so if we hadn’t had the food from FareShare to handout last week, it would have been pretty poor show. People would have been turning up for no food.

Angela Bullard, Founder of Splott Community Volunteers

The food from FareShare Cymru is surplus that would otherwise have been wasted. It comes from farmers, manufacturers, suppliers and supermarkets. Because of the nature of the supply chain, there’s always a variety in food that Splott Community Volunteers has to offer.

It’s quite exciting every week to see what we’re going to get. We’ve been getting Marks and Spencer meals recently. They’ve gone down an absolute storm, because for some people, they are an absolute lifesaver. Yesterday we had paella and the dishes were enormous. One lady was like ‘I’ll take one of those, because that’ll feed my three kids and I don’t have to go out and buy all the ingredients together. It’s a healthy meal.’

Angela Bullard, Founder of Splott Community Volunteers

The organisation aims to provide people with healthy food whilst also teaching them food skills. Before the pandemic, they had a nutrition student working with them to help put together recipes. This is something the team hope to begin again once life returns to normal.

Splott Community Volunteers are doing great work in the community proven by the growing numbers and returning users.

“When one of our ladies first came, she was fostering a little boy. She confided that she was bringing him there because she wanted him to recognize that not all people were nasty, because he’d had a bit of a hard time. Gradually, we gained his confidence and he absolutely loved Breakfast Club. He started to trust people, he would go off with one or two of the members and play. Eventually she sent us a letter saying she couldn’t express the difference we had made in his life. And in making that difference, it had enabled her to adopt him. He still comes to visit now.”

Angela Bullard, Founder of Splott Community Volunteers